Turn out for Hut Raisin’ 2.0 was an entire 33% higher than Hut Raisin’ 1.0, for a grand total of 4 people. Josh and Keith, last year’s helpers, returned, and this year we gained another Josh. We got a total of about a day and a half of building in, and I’m quite pleased with what we accomplished in a relatively short time.
Improvements over Hut 1.0 are numerous. We got off to a great start on Saturday, by laying down a “foundation” that is both square and level. The foundation was the part that I was most unsure about, but things worked out beautifully. We laid down two rows of cement blocks, and once we got them spaced and lined up, we got each individual block leveled. The terrain is inherently sloped and uneven, so instead of trying to level all the blocks in relation to each other, the 4×4 blocks that were placed between the 4×6 beam and the cement blocks were custom cut to compensate for the various height differences. At the end, we had two parallel beams, and then two 2x6x8 boards were attached to the end of the beams. To make sure everything stayed square, we calculated what the distance between the opposing corners of the beam should be, using Pythagoras’ good ol’ theorem, and checked it often, making minor adjustments as necessary. After that, we put in floor joists, then after squaring everything up one last time (and breaking for lunch), laid down OSB sheets that’ll act as the floor for now.
Then we started building up. The 4×4 columns were next. While the corner posts were held up vertical by temporary diagonal supports, we started working on the loft walls, working late into the night. Just about everything went according to my original design, and the only improvisations I had to make were diagonal supports, of which I used many. The next morning, we continued putting up the remaining loft walls, and finished off by putting up the loft floor itself, before everybody had to leave.
There’s still a ton of work to do, obviously, but I’m very happy with what we built. Most of all, I’m particularly pleased with the foundation. With Hut 1.0, I didn’t bother to level or square the “foundation”, and that naturally caused all sorts of problems later on, least of which was the tendency to roll in one direction when sleeping in the loft. This time around, the foundation feels solid, it’s square, and level. We also made sure the 4x4s were vertical when we put them up, and I’ve been using plenty of diagonal supports to make sure it stays that way. Though, all the diagonals are currently up top, so at the moment, the joint between the 4×4 columns and the floor are completely unsupported, thus allowing for some wobbling. I’m sure it’ll firm up once the siding goes on, but I’ll probably add some diagonals at the floor level too.
I’ll be working on the hut alone for the next few weeks. With the loft in place, I should be able to start working on the roof on my own. I should also be able to put in the windows, put up the first layer of siding and insulation, and then I might try and get more help to put up the exterior siding. I still haven’t bought roofing, so I’ll need to figure that out too. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish everything by the end of September, well before the rain and cold. So if you missed Hut Raisin’ 2.0, you might still make it to Hut Finishin’ 2.0 in September. Stay tuned for details (and for updates on the hut, of course)…
Also, check out the other photos from Hut Raisin’ 2.0 on Flickr!